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September 11, 2021

Sometimes I miss the good old days

Believe it or not, once upon a time I had 10,000 daily readers.

That was about 10 years ago, when peak blog was happening.

Since then readership has steadily dwindled, with a huge downward inflection point occurring in 2014-2015 when I suffered a mega episode of major clinical depression (#4 of 4 in my hopefully no longer ongoing series), which resulted in my only being able to post a sentence or two every couple of days for nearly two years, from late 2013 until October 2015.

By the time I recovered, 95% of my readership had vanished.

But I digress.

One thing that was great about the good old days was that with that many readers, great suggestions and links poured in daily, such that I could produce a wonderfully eclectic and unexpected series of posts (eight [8] daily back then) with comparatively little effort or research on the part of me and my Crack Research Team©®, which even then never failed to annoy and disappoint with its sloth and lassitude considering their outlandish salary and benefits package. 

Oh well. 

One more thing: on the morning of Monday, September 11, 2001, as the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, I was lying on my couch, alone, in a silent house, immobile, as I'd been for weeks during the early days of major clinical depression #3 (#1 happened in the summer of 1977 when I was 29 and #2 in the fall of 1991, both of these first two resulting in psychiatric hospitalizations).

My phone rang: it was an ex-girlfriend who said "Turn on your TV."

I replied, "Why?"

She said "Please, just turn on your TV."

I really had zero interest in anything at that point, as is the case in depression, but just to end the phone call, which was tiring me out, I did what she said to do, then hung up.

For the rest of the day, I stared at the screen, without feeling much of anything: depression will do that, make you numb.

But a funny thing happened: over the subsequent days, paying even a little attention to the horrible things I was watching took me away from my own internal hell just enough to cause my mind to stop its incessant circular ruminations and start to focus on the outside world.

And as a result, my depression lifted, little by little, over the next month or so.



September 11, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


Down went my comment 8-(
Anyways, praise goes to BOJ for hosting the blog. I keep getting back, after so many years.

Cheers from Kraków!

Posted by: Tomasso | Sep 16, 2021 12:46:37 PM

My wife:
"Where in the world do you find this stuff [about some improbably brilliantly colored bird, or whatever] ??"


Yeah, I was surprised and delighted when I discovered you were back.

Posted by: Luke | Sep 13, 2021 9:14:17 PM

I have been struggling to keep my depression at bay for a while. It was gone most of covid, felt comfortable being away from people and realizing that my 40 hour a week job really took about 10 when we didn't have meetings that did nothing but allow supervisors to feel important. And for once in my life I started thinking maybe its time to think about retiring now that 50 is in my horizon. Not to sit at home and do nothing, but to help people...which not surprisingly pays little.

But depression is the worst...even if you have all the tools and medication at your disposal, you just have to wait it out sometimes. I started my own website that was one of the top-10 music sites on the net early in the days of the web...I now have about 100 subscribers and write a newsletter...once every month or two! I'm fine with the folks that read my work because they are friends. And I know almost every single one of them.

And this is why I love this blog...I think I know 90% of the commenters just because we've all been readers for so long. Don't stop posting...your page is literally the first tab opened when I turn on Safari.

Posted by: clif | Sep 13, 2021 10:34:20 AM

Man... it's almost odd to think that of all the places on the internet I visit (outside of news and other services) this has got to be the place I've been visiting the longest. It's odd to think this, because it's just Joe, and what Joe finds interesting. And why does Joe do it? He likes sharing what he finds interesting. And why do I keep coming back? Because if Joe finds it worth sharing, there's a good chance I might enjoy reading about it. No other place has held my attention for so long. And this is coming from someone who was part of the first wave of public internet users.. back when it was an upgrade to be able to connect with a 56k modem.

As an aside, I have to say I was quite concerned for those two years, just like most of us regular commenters. And I was quite relieved to see you back.

Posted by: Rocketboy_X | Sep 12, 2021 11:07:01 PM

As a follower of yours for as long as I can remember, I am grateful that you’ve kept the blog alive. It is like a familiar old friend. I always look forward to the “what is it” posts and anxiously await the answer. I like that the look and feel hasn’t changed and the eclectic variety of content never ceases to be interesting. I hope you and grey cat are doing well.

Posted by: Moe | Sep 11, 2021 4:05:48 PM

What treatments were applied during your hospitalizations? And for how long?

Did they work?

Posted by: Paul Tempke | Sep 11, 2021 3:49:45 PM

I hope your depression stays in remission Joe 🤞

Posted by: Chris | Sep 11, 2021 12:28:09 PM

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